ABSTRACT: Checklists are used regularly throughout human-centred healthcare. There is a wide range of data available to support the use of checklists across varied healthcare disciplines. Checklists have been credited with improving teamwork and communication, addressing human factors to support performance, prevention of errors and supporting a culture of patient safety. This article will consider if such benefits may be transferable to veterinary nursing. It will outline the principles of using a checklist, the perceived benefits of the checklist and the factors that should be considered when designing an effective checklist.


Helen Ballantyne PG Dip BSC [Hons] RN RVN

After graduating with a degree in Pharmacology in 2002, Helen qualified as a RVN in 2005. She began a nine- year stint as a locum nurse working nationally and internationally, developing experience in referral medicine and surgery, charity practice, emergency nursing and exotics. During this time she spent five years on BVNA council in a variety of roles, culminating in her being awarded honorary membership in 2016.

In 2013 she qualified as a human-centred nurse, after two years working on intensive care, she moved to the transplant team supporting patient’s pre- and post-transplant. Currently she works at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge on the Transplant High Dependency Unit.

Helen remains a Registered Veterinary Nurse and has developed a strong interest in the principles of One Health and chairs the Veterinary Nursing Futures One Health Committee. She regularly lectures and writes about concepts and ways of working that may be shared between the professions to support clinical and professional practice. Her first textbook, on Veterinary Nursing Care Plans, was published earlier this year: She is currently working on an MSc in Healthcare Management.

Email: helen_ballantyne@yahoo.com

Keywords: One Health; checklists; human factors; communication; patient safety; teamwork

To cite this article: Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 33 (10) • October 2018 pp291-294

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